COSTA MESA, Calif.—Jan and Mark Merryfield enjoyed every aspect of the performance while attending Shen Yun Performing Arts New York Company’s performance at Segerstrom Center for the Arts, on March 12.
Established by artists from around the world in 2006, New York-based Shen Yun is an independent, non-profit organization dedicated to bringing 5,000 years of Chinese traditional culture to life through music and dance. It has quickly become an international sensation, with four companies simultaneously touring around the world.
At the intermission, Mrs. Merryfield, an artist member of the San Clemente Art Association, exclaimed, “I’m loving it! It’s beautiful, the costumes are fantastic. It’s very graceful.”
Mr. Merryfield, senior vice president of investments at Stifel Nicolaus & Company, Inc., said, “I like it very much, I’m very interested in it.”
Mrs. Merryfield marveled at the classical Chinese dance. “Very beautiful, very graceful,” she said. “It’s intriguing, it really is. It’s very beautiful.”
The performance includes several dance pieces that transport the audience across China through 5,000 years of Chinese culture and civilization.
Mr. and Mrs. Merryfield enjoyed the stories told through the dances.
“I love the drums, the drums are fantastic,” said Mrs. Merryfield, referring to the piece entitled, Tang Imperial Drummers, in which warriors under the Tang Dynasty play drums to prepare for battle.
Mr. Merryfield said, “I like the one when they are walking, when their shoulders are not moving, they were just floating. It’s pretty amazing.”
He was referring to the piece called Lotus Fairies, in which dancers holding long silken fans glide across the stage like celestial fairies in flight.
“The one where the mother was killed was very touching. And then the lotus, the symbol of life. It’s all very beautiful,” said Mrs. Merryfield, touched by The Steadfast Lotus dance, which depicts the ongoing persecution of people who practice Falun Dafa, a spiritual meditation discipline based on truth, compassion, and tolerance. The persecution was instigated by the Chinese communist regime in 1999 and continues to this day.
Mr. Merryfield was impressed by the animated digital backdrops that interact with the dancers. “It’s beautiful,” he said. “It’s very interesting. Very creative, the motion picture and the actors together.”
The Shen Yun website explains, “With state-of-the-art graphics technology, Shen Yun’s digital-backdrop team creates vividly animated settings, extending the stage and transporting the audience to a world where heaven and earth are one.”
Music is an important component of Shen Yun, with all of the dance pieces set to original scores played by the Shen Yun Orchestra. The orchestra is unique in that it blends ancient Chinese instruments, such as the erhu, pipa, and suona, with a full Western symphony orchestra. “This is how the effect is achieved: A Western philharmonic orchestra plays the foundation, while traditional Chinese instruments lead the melodies. The sound produced is uniquely pleasing to the ear,” describes the website.
The music enchanted Mr. Merryfield. “It’s fantastic,” he said, “and I’ve never heard it before.”
Reporting by Lu Rusong and Thanh Le
New York-based Shen Yun Performing Arts has four touring companies that perform simultaneously around the world. For more information, visit Shen Yun Performing Arts.
The Epoch Times considers Shen Yun Performing Arts the significant cultural event of our time. We have proudly covered audience reactions since Shen Yun’s inception in 2006